God, Rich in Mercy and Grace [Ephesians 2]
1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
There is a stark contrast between what our lives looked like before we received God's gift of mercy and after. We were dead in our sins, following "the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath." Now we are alive in Christ, "raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." The truly stunning thing about this transformation is that God did all the work and continues to do all the work.
What did God do? And why?
- God, abundant in mercy, has great love for me
- He made me alive with Christ
- He raised me up with Christ
- He seated me with Christ in the heavens
- He continues to display His rich grace
- He is kind to me in Christ
- salvation is His gift completely
- He created me in Christ Jesus
- He prepared my specific good works ahead of time so I could walk in them
- His grace gives me the faith to accept His gift!
Father, I exalt You today for Your work in my life. It is all You. When I think it is my work, I boast in myself. Cause me to acknowledge that apart from You I can do nothing (John 15:5) and humbly accept Your complete work in my life. Cause me to receive Your gift of grace (power) to walk in this new life You have prepared for me. Today, I want to let go of the things I think I can do, receive Your mercy (compassion, a special and immediate regard to alleviate the consequences of sin) and let You do Your work in me.